I talk to a lot of people that want to get more traffic to their web sites. In the last post I talked about getting into the local directories on Google, Yahoo and Bing/MSN/Live so that you could show up in their map listings, both on map searches but also on general search result pages.
Today I'm going to talk about the most direct approach to building traffic to your web site. That is search engine advertisements. You've seen them on most of the search pages you get. They're the sponsored links down the right side and sometimes at the top or bottom of the page. These are paid advertisements Internet style.
Most of the people I talk to claim to never click on these links or to not even look at them. I laugh and tell them that I call that the 'National Enquirer' effect. No one admits to buying the tabloid, but they keep publishing it anyway. As for sponsored links, let me tell you that Google makes most of their money from people clicking on those links and they make a lot of money! Advertisers are using it more and more every year.
The reasons are simple. First your ad only shows up in front of interested people. You can limit it geographically, by search phrase and by other methods as well. These people are actually looking for what you offer!
Second, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. Not when it's displayed, but when it's worked and someone is now sent to you web site. Here's a really interested prospect that has chosen your web site. It's up to you to make the sale, but here's a pre-qualified lead for a relatively low amount of money.
Third, you can send them to pages in your web site that relate directly to what they're looking for. You don't have to send them to your home page (although you can.) Best practice is to send them to a landing page that you've written to tie directly to your ad. So here you have an interested prospect looking at a page on exactly what they're interested in.
Fourth, you can see exactly what is going on. All of the PPC providers give you incredibly valuable data on your campaign. It is a gold mine of market research that's very focused on your market and is incredibly fresh.
There are lots of other reasons, but the real reason it's so popular--it works! And the data is there for you to verify that it is working.
So, what are you waiting for? Someone is searching for your product or service right now! Are they going to end up on your web site?